Survival Book Review: “Lights Out”
Survival Cache has a book review of Ted Koppel’s “Lights Out”. Here’s a snippet from Amazon on the books subject.
“Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before. “
While we don’t have examples of widespread power outages lasting months, we do have some lasting several days. Here’s what happened during the two day East Coast power outage of 1977.
“In all, 1,616 stores were damaged in looting and rioting. A total of 1,037 fires were responded to, including 14 multiple-alarm fires. In the largest mass arrest in city history, 3,776 people were arrested. Many had to be stuffed into overcrowded cells, precinct basements and other makeshift holding pens. A congressional study estimated that the cost of damages amounted to a little over $300 million.”
There was a similar two day black out on the East Coast in 2003.
“In New York, about 3,000 fire calls were reported, many from people using candles. Emergency services responded to 80,000 calls for help, more than double the average.
From 4 p.m. of the 14th to midnight of the 15th, there were 60 all-hands or greater alarm fires, caused mostly by candles. The FDNY answered over 7,500 calls which resulted in the transmission of over 4,000 alarms.“
Those were short term outages caused by human error. Now, imagine a more widespread and longer grid down outage cause by human design – a cyber attack.
This is how Koppel imagines it will go down in a longer grid down situation.
“By day three, all gasoline is gone, water is rare, and all FEMA food has been distributed. Now the fun begins. By day seven, the backup food supply is zeroed out, the vulnerable are dead, and the refugee migration has begun causing states to take border patrol into their own hands. It’s game on! Or so writesTed Koppel… and documented by mountains of data…and confirmed by a seemingly unlimited supply of informed sources in high places.”
Of course it may all never happen. But as all of our technology becomes more interconnected and connected to the Internet, we are becoming more vulnerable. And it seems the government is doing little to “harden the grid”. If such a massive, long term grid down situation did occur, it would make Katrina look like a picnic. Here’s my earlier post on one man’s experience during Katrina. He felt the effects for months and he lived 150 miles away! Are you willing to risk it?
As the authors of the book review note at the end of their review, Koppel writes of “Surviving the Aftermath” – a how to guide. Clearly, Koppel believes it’s a matter of when and not if.
“Koppel leans towards “Surviving the Aftermath” over preventing the disaster. Given Ted’s street cred, I find that to be the most upsetting aspect of this book. Koppel could have sugar-coated the situation leaving us a yellow brick road like so many other non-fiction authors of catastrophe have chosen. But alas, Alea iacta est (The die is cast). The transformers are in place and vulnerable. The enemies have been made. And the internet has connected the two. It’s only a matter of time.”
Be sure and read the entire review. It’s good.
You can get “Lights Out” here at Amazon. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath
There are links within this post on which I can earn a commission if you purchase something, but it doesn’t cost you any more money. This is how I keep my site free for you and other readers, so I greatly appreciate when you do purchase through my links!
If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
And if you’d like weekly updates by email, simply fill in your email address and hit subscribe. I will never share or sell your information!
I hope you find this information useful and if you have family or friends this could help, please feel free to email them or pass it on by using the share buttons below.